The Biden administration is removing restrictions on mailing abortion pills during the COVID-19 pandemic, a reversal from the Trump administration's policy that marks a new phase in the national debate over abortion rights.
Newsworthy by Faculty Member
Newsworthy for Aiken, Abigail R.A.
A federal judge removes a "substantial obstacle" to accessing abortion during the pandemic. Dr. Abigail Aiken, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin who researches medication abortion access in the U.S. (among other countries), believes that the ability to access abortion by mail would dramatically increase access overall, and afford patients privacy and autonomy in a way that the current FDA restrictions do not.
The first abortion case that the Supreme Court will consider after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn’t likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, but it could severely curtail access to safe, effective, early abortion during the pandemic. It would also clearly signal that the Court is willing to upend its own previous jurisprudence holding that laws and regulations cannot place an undue burden on those who are seeking abortions. Abigail R. A.
Before the pandemic, women in England, Wales and Scotland could visit a clinic for a consultation and for medically induced abortions, there or at home. Under emergency legislation in late March, in force for the next two years, the same service can now be provided entirely online.
Rules introduced because of the pandemic mean that terminations can now happen at home. The picture is gloomier in those parts of Europe where politicians did not do much to ease access to abortion. Recent research by Abigail Aiken of the University of Texas at Austin looked at enquiries to Women on Web, a Canadian charity that provides pills to women in countries where at-home abortions are illegal. She found that during the pandemic they shot up in Italy (by 68%) and Portugal (by 139%). In Britain they fell to negligible levels.
Changes to medical technology will change the politics of the country’s original culture war. Aid Access is a non-profit that prescribes and posts abortion pills, mostly from overseas, to women in America. Research into the non-profit, which was established in 2018, highlights the role that abortion pills by mail can play when health services are stretched. Abigail Aiken of the University of Texas at Austin says that within the first few weeks of the pandemic, demand surged. In Texas, after all abortions were cancelled for several weeks, demand nearly doubled.
In the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Americans sought out pills to end pregnancies on their own — without the help of an abortion clinic. LBJ's Abigail Aiken talks with VICE about the findings of the study on which she was lead researcher that found a 27 percent increase in the rate of requests for the pills from Aid Access, an organization that ships abortion-inducing pills across the United States.
During a ban on abortion services in Texas earlier this year, more women sought out a telemedicine abortion service called Aid Access, according to a new study from UT Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. The study found a 27 percent increase in the rate of requests for medication abortion by mail in the U.S. between March 20 and April 11 compared to the beginning of the year. Dr. Abigail Aiken, the author of the study, said she saw the biggest increase in requests in Texas. She said the state, which had the most severe restrictions on abortion at the time, saw a 94 percent increase in requests in that period.
While this past academic year saw some remarkable changes in the academic process, the continued excellence of LBJ School faculty remained constant. Here is a collection of the recognition that LBJ faculty garnered in 2019–20.
Following Ken Paxton's warning that the governor's order postponing nonessential medical procedures applies to abortion, many clinics in Texas are weighing their options. Texas could have postponed nonessential medical procedures without halting abortions, said the LBJ School's Dr. Abigail Aiken.
- 1 of 11
- next ›